Every Day Is Exactly The Same for the Dodgers
I knew the Dodgers would have some troubles this season despite their big payroll, but I didn't think it would get this bad. Three errors and the lethal Paul Goldschmidt kept the Dodgers freefalling as the Arizona Diamondbacks handed the Dodgers a 3-2 loss.
The Dodgers were swept in consecutive series for the first time since Aug. 22-28, 2008 and lost their seventh game in a row, a feat last seen from June 24-30, 2012. They are seven games under .500 and sit 6 1/2 games behind first place San Francisco Giants. Yeah. It's this bad.
"Everyday at this point is deflating when it keeps creeping on you day in, day out," manager Don Mattingly commented.
This one stung.
It seemed to be the day the Dodgers would at least tally a win. Clayton Kershaw was on the mound.
Things went well when Dee Gordon led off the fourth inning with a single up the middle. Nick Punto came up big for the second game in a row grounding a double down the first base line that scored Gordon and gave the Dodgers the 1-0 lead. Adrian Gonzalez took note and grounded the first pitch he saw down the first base line also that scored Punto for the 2-0 lead.
The Dodgers had a lead in what seemed like forever. With Kershaw on the mound those two runs should be enough.
But the sixth inning started with Gordon fumbling a grounder by Didi Gregorious. Then the Dodger killer Goldschmidt. He took a 2-1 fastball from Kershaw and sent it to the left field pavilion to tie the game.
And as if they didn't learn from their mistakes in the previous two games, Goldschmidt hit another one into the bleachers in the eighth inning off of Kenley Jansen, the game winner. Goldschmidt is now batting .458 (11-for-24) with four homers and 11 RBI against the Dodgers this season.
"Goldschmidt just beat us," A.J. Ellis said.
It's not for the lack of trying for the Dodgers. "We're trying different stuff all the time," manager Don Mattingly said after the Dodgers 5-3 loss to the Diamondbacks on Tuesday.
Before the game the Dodgers recalled catcher Tim Federowicz from Triple-A Albuquerque while optioning shortstop Justin Sellers to Albuquerque.
"We have plenty of infielders," Mattingly said noting that he wanted a better hitting bench. His aim also is to give starting catcher A.J. Ellis some rest. "We started off the season playing A.J. [Ellis] a lot. Most of that is because of all of the off days we were able to keep him fresh. But we're running out of those."
The current backup catcher Ramon Hernandez is batting .050 in 22 at-bats, while Sellers was a paltry .191. With Federowicz's .531 batting average with Albuquerque, it only made sense to bring him up. And that's not the last of the shuffling.
In the top of the fourth inning Adrian Gonzalez dove for a Wil Nieves pop up in foul ground. The ball popped out of his glove as it looked like his neck was overstrained. But he seemed okay in that double down the first base line for an RBI, however he was taken out of the game re-aggravating his strained neck. He will be day-to-day.
"It didn't look very good when he came out," Mattingly said.
Understandably Gonzalez didn't want to talk to us about it only saying that, "I'll be ready to go on Friday."
I don't know.
Even though Scott Van Slyke is lighting it up in Albuquerque, it's hard to replace a player who has the third best batting average in the National League at .343. The best possible outcome is Gonzalez being able to play through it since it doesn't seem to affect his hitting. But with the way things are going around here, you can't count out any possibilities.
In that same vein, before the game I saw Ryu Hyun-Jin with acupuncture cupping marks on his pitching shoulder. I also regularly do preventative acupuncture, so I figured that's what it is. But, again, you can never be too sure around here. "It's fine," Ryu told me when I asked about his shoulder. Mattingly said he hadn't heard anything about it and that that was his normal routine.
Just being sure.
The frustration is becoming more tangible in the clubhouse as each loss goes by as evidenced by Ellis' comments.
"It's the big leagues. Stuff happens. We're just not getting it done right now. It's nothing going on down the hall in the manager's or coachs' office. This is all about the players and what's going on in here. It's up to us to step up.
"It doesn't matter who is on the lineup card, who is pitching that day. We're the Los Angeles Dodgers. This is the big leagues. It's time for us to step up."
Thursday will be a good day for the Dodgers: they have a day off to regroup before facing a three-game weekend series against the Miami Marlins. I guess we will await.